Statement: Children are always innocent in war and conflict25 October 2023
Responding to reports that more than 2,000 children have now lost their lives in the ongoing conflict in Gaza and Israel, Plan International once again calls for an immediate ceasefire.
Since the escalation of violence on 7 October the number of children killed in Gaza has risen to 2,055, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The total number of deaths in Gaza is today reported to have now reached to 5,800, (as of 24 October), with thousands more injured.
1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed according to Israeli authorities, who on 22 October released the names of 767 of those people, 27 of whom are children.
There is never any justification for the killing or maiming of children. In war and conflict, children are always innocent and must not be targeted. Plan International continues to call on all parties involved for an immediate ceasefire and demands International Humanitarian Law is upheld and the principle of humanity is respected.
Children in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel are suffering when they should be living their lives free from violence and fear. We have a global collective responsibility to protect that right. Future generations will suffer as a result of this ongoing violence, as they live through the trauma of war; with profound impacts on their long-term mental health.
Whilst we welcome the news that aid trucks are starting to reach people in Gaza, much more is needed, quickly. 1.4 million people are displaced internally and around half of these people are children, they are living in crowded environments with limited access to food, water, sanitation and hygiene.
So far, 54 trucks have been reported to have reached Gaza since Saturday. United Nations officials have said at least 100 trucks a day would be needed to meet the urgent requirements.
Up to 200 women a day are giving birth in Gaza and the UN World Health Organisation have warned that doctors have been performing surgeries without anaesthesia or other basic surgical supplies1. No fuel has been able to enter Gaza so far and hospitals desperately need fuel to back up hospital generators, where it is reported 120 babies are dependent on incubators.
Plan International urges for immediate cessation of hostilities and unhindered access for relief materials and humanitarian workers. Both of these demands are critical and urgent. If not, there is a grave risk that even more children will lose their lives, even though children are always innocent in war and conflict.